FORTO is a new tool allowing to (self)test the level of muscle fatigability as measure for intrinsic capacity and resilience. WHO states that an essential condition to achieve healthy ageing is a sufficient intrinsic capacity, which is the composite of all the physical and mental capacities that an individual can draw on. Unfortunately, the current health systems and technologies available focus on diagnosis when symptoms or age related problems like frailty and dependency are already a fact. The concept of FORTO is exactly to avoid this and to develop a device that measures the capacity to recruit reserves available in persons, acting as an early warning system for diminishing resistance to and delayed recovery from health stressors. All end-users are involved in the process including community-dwelling older persons, hospitalized older patients and clinicians.


FORTO aims at developing a user-friendly device and supporting system for self-assessment of muscle fatigability in older persons. Early changes in health are difficult to assess as measurements that currently exist are insufficiently sensitive for changes. FORTO allows to identify small changes in intrinsic reserves. FORTO can be used for a variety of applications like acting as an early warning system for deterioration of the general health status long BEFORE it can be detected by other methods. FORTO can also be applied to monitor and detect delayed recovery in older patients when dismissed from the hospital (e.g. after acute infection or fracture).

Expected Results and Impact:

FORTO consists in a rubber bulb that can be wirelessly connected to a smartphone. The system will allow self-assessment of muscle fatigability by measuring the maximum force elderly people can apply and sustain until their handgrip strength drops to 50% of its maximum. Professional follow up is realized remotely through an app using the smartphone of the elderly person, which at the same time makes the system price effective and very user friendly.


Partners in the project

Organization Type Country Website
Vrije Universiteit Brussel R&D Belgium
Instituto de Telecomunicacoes R&D Portugal
Radboud University Medical Center R&D The Netherlands
Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel Large Company Belgium
Ziekenhuisgroep Twente End Users The Netherlands
  • Project name: Developing a smart self-assessment “Fatigability in Outcomes to monitor Resilience Targets in Older persons” measurement system – FORTO
  • Website:
  • Coordinator: Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Starting date: 02/2020
  • Total budget: € 472.500
  • Public contribution: € 299.5700


Ivan Bautmans



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